Backgrounder: Release of the Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals with Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS)

Backgrounder

August 2017

The Government of Canada is celebrating the human biomonitoring achievements of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) on its 10th anniversary and the release of its Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada. These latest results add important new knowledge to our understanding of Canadians' exposure to chemicals. More information on the data released can be found here.

Biomonitoring initiatives like the Canadian Health Measures Survey are an important part of the Government's actions on chemicals, including the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP).

These data provide reliable information that governments and all Canadians can use to better understand the levels of exposure to various chemicals. They are also used by researchers and the Government to:

  • Track increases or decreases of detectable chemical levels in Canadians over time;
  • Conduct comparative analysis among subpopulations in Canada and with other countries;
  • Assess the effectiveness of actions the Government takes to reduce exposure and health risks from specific chemicals;
  • Initiate research on the potential links between exposure to certain chemicals and specific health effects, as needed; and
  • Contribute to international monitoring programs

More information on how these data are used in risk assessments under the CMP is available here.

Currently, the results for Cycle 4 (2014-2015) of the CHMS have been released as summary data, and any immediate conclusions or comparisons based on this information would be premature. Over the coming year, Health Canada scientists will be closely studying the results of this survey to explore associations between biomonitoring measurements and other health and lifestyle factors measured in the CHMS.

It is important to note that the presence of a chemical in a person's body does not necessarily mean that it will affect their health. Factors such as the amount to which a person is exposed, the duration and timing of exposure, and the toxicity of the chemical are important to consider when determining whether adverse health effects may occur.

More information, including actions the Government has taken to protect the health of Canadians, can be found in Health Canada's Fourth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals and by searching the chemicals name on Canada.ca.


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